Alain Prost talked about the two top contenders for the battle for the 2021 World Championship, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, and why there can not be a comparison between them.
"If you compare for example Max and Lewis, it is very difficult to compare a driver who is trying to get their first championship, compared to a guy that knows how to prepare his race and manage his season.”
"It's very difficult in terms of pressure. As soon as Max will win a championship, I think he can be a fantastic driver. But Lewis is a very complete driver. He has all the tools. He's unbelievable."
This is the first time Verstappen is leading the F1 drivers championship; for the first time since 2018, Hamilton is in a proper fight for the lead of the standings.
"It's difficult to say who's going to win, but the first thing is it's going to be a nice battle."
"I think Red Bull and Max are in better shape, in my opinion today, but it's always a long season and that can reverse differently. But for one or two reasons [I think this].”
"First of all, Sergio Perez is starting to do a good job so it's going to be a big help. I don't think he's going to be a strength for Red Bull but more help.”
"Valtteri [Bottas] is not, psychologically it's a very difficult situation. I like Valtteri as a person and this must be quite tough, to be in a team like this, but you could see that the psychology of the teams [has changed].”
2021 has been the most difficult start to the season for Bottas at Mercedes, standing 6th in the drivers' championship (with 47 points) below Charles Leclerc. Valtteri has achieved 3 podiums this season but with two DNF's and a 12th place at Azerbaijan hasn't helped much for this season campaign.
"Before you had a very nervous Red Bull team and very up and down. And then you can see some different things at Mercedes, some small mistakes, some misunderstandings, some very nervous reactions from Toto [Wolff], for example.”
"They could never see that before, so things can change and that can make the difference, in my opinion, during the year."
It's been three years since the last time Mercedes were not leading the teams championship (in 2018 against Ferrari), and since 2013 Red Bull hasn't led the championship until now.
This weekend F1 races in France at Paul Ricard were Mercedes has won the last two races (2018 and 2019), 2020 was not held due to COVID-19.